Speed Limits Bylaw 2019

QLDC proposes to revoke the Speed Limits Bylaw 2009 and replace with a new bylaw Speed Limits Bylaw 2019. In addition to this, we're proposing the adoption of new speed limits for identified urban traffic areas, a number of 'high benefit' roads, and transitioning a number of reduced speed limit areas to become permanent.

We want you to let us know what you think about the new bylaw and new speed limits proposed for roads under our control.

Feedback closes 5.00pm Monday 13 May 2019.

We have adopted a Statement of Proposal which contains full details of our proposal and the reasons for it.

You can also find the following important documents here:

Making a submission

To have your say, head along to the ‘Lets Talk’ page.

Alternatively, you can post a written submission to:

Speed Limits Bylaw 2019 Review
Queenstown Lakes District Council
Private Bag 50072
Queenstown 9348

Submissions must be received by 5.00pm Monday 13 May 2019.

Any person who wishes to do so can speak in support of their submission, at hearings in the week beginning 3 June 2019. Please advise whether you wish to be heard in person or not.

Further Information

Two additional drop in sessions will be held for members of the community to come and talk with staff on the proposed changes: 

Date

Time

Venue

Monday 29 April 2019

6:00pm- 7:30pm

Lake Wanaka Centre

Tuesday 30 April 2019

6:00pm- 7:30pm

Queenstown Memorial Centre

 

Speed Management Review

During 2018 Council completed an assessment of the whole network under Council’s jurisdiction as is recommended good practice and supports the new Speed Management Guide and the national ‘Safer Journey’s’ programme. This work has resulted in a number of changes proposed to our network to achieve safe and appropriate speeds.   

There are four key areas for consultation in this process:

1)      Change of bylaw form

The current bylaw contains details of the speed limits that apply to each road under Council’s jurisdiction and therefore changing or adding to these requires a full bylaw amendment.  Under the proposed bylaw, this detailed information will not be included in the bylaw itself, but instead in publicly accessible schedules, which is permitted under the Land Transport Act 1998.  This will enable Council to make changes by resolution, meaning a faster response time to issues identified in the district, address growth and enable changes necessary for the transport network operation.  The Council will still have to carry out appropriate consultation (as required by the Rule) before permanent speed limits are changed or introduced.

The proposed new bylaw includes technical revisions and new definitions to address inadequacies and gaps identified in the current bylaw and to reflect legislative change since the last bylaw was adopted. 

2)      Urban Traffic Areas

The review confirmed 15 urban traffic areas within our district, and in all cases recommended a reduction from 50km/h to 40km/h. These areas are: Arrowtown; Queenstown; Fernhill, Sunshine Bay; Quail Rise; Shotover Country; Lake Hayes Estate; Arthurs Point (residential); Kelvin Heights (residential); Wanaka; Albert Town; Hawea; Kingston; Glenorchy; Luggate; Cardrona.

Urban Traffic Areas are where the highest number of vulnerable road users are – that being people walking and cycling, reducing speeds here has the greatest potential to reduce the chance of serious injuries and deaths occurring.

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3)      High Benefit Opportunities

Five stretches of roads have been identified as high risk, high benefit opportunities. These are roads that have a medium-high to high infrastructure risk rating, meaning the road environment and condition is inconsistent with the posted speed limit.  These roads contribute disproportionately to the numbers of death and serious injuries in the district and are recommended for both speed limit reduction and physical changes.

These roads and their current and recommended new speed limits are:

Road

Current permanent speed limit (km/h)

Proposed permanent speed limit (km/h)

Queenstown - Glenorchy Road

Sunshine Bay to Glenorchy township

100

80

Queenstown - Glenorchy Road

From One Mile roundabout to Sunshine Bay

100

60

Crown Range Road

As per map, small section of 80km after first zigzag from Arrowtown side then Cardrona side of summit

100 

80

Crown Range Road

From SH6 Junction to Cardrona side of summit (small 80km section as above)

100

60

Malaghans Road

From Lake Hayes Road junction through to speed change East of Coronet peak turn off

100

80

Arthurs Point Road

From Coronet Peak junction to Watties Track junction

80

60

Gorge Road

From Arthurs Point Road through to Queenstown township

80

60

Cardrona Valley Road

From distillery and ski field turn off to Wanaka township

100

80

Wanaka-Mount Aspiring Road (sealed and unsealed)

100

80


4)      Reduced Speed Sign Posted Areas

Reduced speed limits have been sign posted on a temporary basis on several roads across the district over the past 12-18 months following requests from the community and analysis of safe and appropriate speeds for each road type. It is proposed to make reduced speeds on these roads permanent, as follows:

Area

Current permanent speed limit (km/h)

Current temporary speed limit (km/h)

Recommended permanent speed limit (km/h)

Arrowtown

Urban boundaries

50

40

40

Aubrey Road

From Anderson Road intersection to Albert Town roundabout

70

50

60

Arthurs Point Road

From Coronet Peak Junction to Watties Track junction

70

50

60

Cardrona Valley Road

From township to distillery

100

70

80

 

Speed Myths, Misconceptions and Facts

"Speed isn't a problem, bad drivers are."

Even the most skilled drivers make mistakes, and most drivers understand New Zealand's roads can be challenging. Good speed management gives drivers the cues they need to judge the safe and appropriate speed for the road they're on.

"Defining a vulnerable road user."

A vulnerable road user is anyone not in a vehicle. People walking, people on motorised two wheelers (motorcycles, mopeds and light mopeds) and people cycling are referred to as vulnerable road users because of their ‘unprotected’ state.

"Going a few kilometres faster or slower doesn't make any difference to safety."

Actually, it does. Speed is the difference between a correctable mistake and a fatal error. Every extra km/h increases the likelihood of someone being killed or injured in a crash. Regardless of what causes a crash, speed always plays a part.

"Slowing down will make it take ages to get anywhere."

Not necessarily. Research has shown driving at a speed appropriate for the road is likely to only result in a very small increase in travel time. Other factors, such as lights, traffic, and intersections have a much greater effect on travel time.

Trips reducing the maximum speed from 100km/h to 80km/h on a 10km length of road showed travel time increases ranged from 30 to 48 seconds.  For local trips reducing the maximum speed from 50km/h to 40km/h showed travel time increases ranged from 11 to 42 seconds difference.

If the maximum speed limit around a typical town is 50km/h, your average journey speed is between 26km/h and 33 km/h. Safe and appropriate speeds result in significant fuel savings.

Trip type

Distance

Maximum speed (time) before

Maximum speed (time) after

Open road travel

10km

100km/hr (06:00)

80km/hr (06:30 – 06:48)
30-48 seconds difference

Local road trips

4km

50km/hr (04:48)

40km/hr (05:09 – 05:30)
11-42 seconds difference

"Modern cars are safer and better, so there's no need for us to drive slower."

Cars may have evolved to go faster, but humans haven't. Our bodies feel the force of a crash the same way they did when the first car was invented. While modern cars have better safety equipment, NZ's fleet is relatively old. Half the cars on the road lack even basic safety features, like stability control or side airbags. Even the best technology won't stop another car crashing into you.

"Reducing speed limits is revenue gathering for the Police."

Police do not retain any of the money from infringements; the money goes to the Government. Collection of infringements comes at a much more significant cost to issue notices including police time and energy. Police would be delighted not to have to issue any infringements, as this would show everyone was driving safely and not putting themselves or others at risk. This would see deaths and serious injuries on our roads significantly reduced. Police would happily not collect any revenue if it meant people drove at safe, suitable speeds for the conditions.

"It’s the road not the speed limit that needs changing.”

All roads are not created equal nor are the risks necessarily identifiable by a driver, and people do make mistakes. Travelling the right speed for the risk on the road can help minimise the impact of a crash. Speed is the difference between a correctable mistake and a fatal error. Even good drivers can hurt others if they are involved in a crash travelling at the wrong speed for the road and conditions. To engineer existing roads to a higher standard would cost the district billions of dollars, and result in limited benefits, if any.

"Its overseas drivers that cause the problems, they don’t know our rules and roads, locals know the roads well."

New Zealand drivers crash at a much higher rate than our visitors. Over the five years from 2012-2016, 6.2 percent of fatal and injury crashes involved an overseas driver, and not all overseas drivers involved in those crashes were at fault. Many of the countries that tourists come from have better engineered roads than us, with more finely tuned speed limits, and as such tourists are quite often just driving at the safe and appropriate speed for the engineering of the road. New Zealand drivers are used to driving faster on those roads as they are familiar through day-to-day journeys, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that those speeds are safe and appropriate for the engineering of the roads. Mistakes happen to everyone, even well-seasoned locals, but a mistake shouldn’t result in death or serious harm.

"Different speed limits proposed for roads that once had similar speed limits."

Historically speed limits were set based mainly on the land use. Urban areas defaulted to 50km/h, rural areas defaulted to 100km/h, and there was some limited scope to apply 80km/h and 70km/h to urban fringe areas.
Central government have updated the legislation for setting of speed limits and under the new speed management approach while 50km/h and 100km/h are still the default values there are options to set speed limits based on the nature of the road rather than just the surrounding land use. In the case of rural roads this allows the adoption of speed limits of 80 or 60 where the roads are not designed to operate safely at 100. In extreme cases such as narrow, winding, unsealed roads, 40 km/h may also be considered as a rural speed limit.
The roll out of lower speed limits will occur gradually across the network. Key criteria for selecting which roads to treat first include:

  • Routes with high crash rates (where speed reduction could be expected to give the best crash reductions).
  • Routes where the road conditions/geometry already encourage most drivers to drive at a lower speed and aligning the limit with the lower speeds will help to make speed limits more credible.

“Speed doesn’t cause all deaths on the road – why just target that?”

No matter the crash or the other factors, speed always plays a role in determining the outcome of a crash. We appreciate that sometimes drivers make mistakes. We want to create an environment where those mistakes do not result in someone dying. Lowering speeds is just one way for us to help create this safer environment.

"QLDC is cherry-picking data to try and justify your proposed speed reductions."

QLDC is taking an evidence-based approach to reducing speeds. The data, which paints a tragic picture of our deteriorating road safety performance, comes from the New Zealand Transport Agency. We are using international best practice and follow the Rule: Setting of Speed Limits 2017 and Speed Management Guide along with analysis of local crash data to decide which roads are included in our Speed Limits Bylaw review stage one.